More than a tent, less than a cabin: That's the yurt, the newest camping option offered in selected state parks. The semi-permanent shelters consist of a wooden-lattice wall and rafters surrounded by weatherproof canvas and topped with a clear domed skylight. Construction costs are less than a quarter of those for a traditional cabin of the same size. The yurts in Ridgway, Pearl Lake and Mancos parks are equipped with electricity, gas fireplaces, ceiling fans, full insulation and screened windows, making them perfect for visits year-round. (Golden Gate Canyon state park is adding two yurts as part of its ongoing upgrade, to be completed this summer.) Each yurt sleeps six; bring your own bedding, but otherwise expect a camping experience, with cooking outdoors and no running water. Rental fees range from $40 to $60, based on occupancy; maximum stay is fourteen days. Reservations, which must be made at least three days in advance, are accepted, but yurts are also available on a first-come, first-served basis.
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